BY KEVIN MAPASURE
CAPTAIN Sean Williams hit a century as Zimbabwe put up 352 runs for the loss of six wickets on the opening day of their second Test against Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Regis Chakabva and Tino Mutombodzi will today resume Zimbabwe’s first innings accumulation on 31 and 10 runs respectively.
The hosts were reasonably happy with their efforts as they employed a more positive batting approach compared to what they did in the first Test that they went on to lose.
Zimbabwe started off slowly in the first session, but picked up a bit of momentum after winning the toss.
They yielded 96 runs that came at the expense of the scalps of Prince Masvaure (9) and Craig Ervine (12).
Brendan Taylor’s knock mirrored Zimbabwe’s intentions as he reached his half century off just 46 deliveries.
He moved on to 62 before he fell to the Lakmal who rearranged his castle behind.
He was obviously disappointed that he did not reach the century mark considering he was well set.
It was the collaboration between Williams and Sikandar Raza which was the fulcrum of Zimbabwe’s good total as they put together a 159 run fifth wicket partnership.
Williams scored 10 fours and three maximums on his way to 107 runs before he perished after being bowled by Dhananjaya de Silva.
Before that, Raza had already made his way back to the hut after contributing 72 runs.
Williams said he was pleased with the runs they put on the board yesterday, but felt they could have done better.
“I think it was a fantastic day for us. I think the mindset for the players is changing and the way the boys are playing now is fearless,” he said. “Overall it was a very good day.
I would take 350 in a day any day, but six wickets down? I would have taken four; it was down to some bad shot selections. I played a terrible shot to get out and expose two new batsmen to the new ball. Such bad decisions have to stop. I could have gone on to score a half century or even a double 100.”
He said his target is to see the team score at least 450 in the first innings.
He is confident that Chakabva and Mutombodzi, who is a debutante, can steer Zimbabwe to a big score.
In the first Test, Zimbabwe scored 188 runs on the first day and getting to 352 marked a big improvement as they seek to level the two match series.